Saturday, August 9, 2008

Nine Quatrains Murmur: August Afternoon

Softly sound the call for gentleness: allay
the ripples of your small distress: gather all
your schools of minnows in their swoop
and sway and reassure them they are just

the thing today – address your oceanic
consciousness: and bid it offer up its warmest
most embracing sea: let your fishies fin
around as peacefully as this sweet windy

August cloud-and-blue-sky canopy protects
your vastly liquid mind: now scoop your babies
up into a net and render them amphibiously
into some new breathing slippery collective

creature which will crawl onto the sunny
beach to reach a kind of trembling stasis –
glistening with an abrupt autonomy: a nascent
self now warming on a coastal shelf which

asks your widely wondering and wandering
appurtenance of eye and brain to think what
its autonomy might mean: evolve from school
to graduation from the rules and touch a fine

caressing finger to the platypus your newt has
just become: then watch it run into the softly
stirring riffling reeds into a woods where
it can meet its needs to rise up on two legs

and otherwise discover how a thinking mammal
breeds alternatives to instinct. It would be easy
to decide that this is all a dream, but it takes
courage to imagine you’ve uncovered quite

the most remarkably audacious scheme: to ride
imagination into breathing form, and keep it
round and warm, then do a last experiment with it:
bid it sit and speak – and press through its

velocity of evolution for a reciprocity: softly sound
the call for gentleness again as it turns round
to recognize you as its friend. Be warned:
the world felt just like this when you were born.


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